By Wayne Cousins
19/07/2010 12:41:09 PM

Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah says the importance of a positive differential points record is not lost on the team as the pressure to make the finals intensifies.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s crucial must win match against the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval, Farah says the narrow wins over the past month has given the team plenty of confidence.
A win tonight will keep Wests Tigers in third place on a congested Telstra Premiership ladder. The Tigers have a +8 for record.

“Losing those close games in the past has been our downfall. Last year there was that period in the middle where we lost four or five games by one or two points. It came back to bite us on the backside,’’ Farah said.

“The close games are the ones you have got to win. There is not much difference between a really good season and a poor one.

“Looking at the ladder, a couple of wins short of what we are at the moment and we would be sitting in 10th or 11th spot but because we have won those close games, we are sitting up near the top of the ladder.

“At this time of the season, it is just important to win. Tim (Sheens) is always on to us about our for and against and how crucial it is. It always comes down to for and against, especially down near the bottom of the eight.

“We always speak about if you are in front to kind of try and put a team to the sword. If you are behind, you try to limit the damage to the for and against.

“That was something that hurt us when we played Souths. We were down and we couldn’t limit the damage and they ended up putting 50 past us. It could come back and hurt you at the end of the season.

“Hopefully our for and against won’t matter because we will be sitting on plenty of competition points.”

Farah said the quality of the squad and the overall depth had made this year’s squad the strongest he had seen since coming into first grade in 2003.

“We are more experienced and we have got a lot more depth this year whereas in the past when we have had a few injuries, we haven’t had the players to come in and replace them,’’ he said.

“This year we have had fringe players like Junior Moors and Geoff Daniela. We have got some good young kids coming through as well so we have been able to put down a good 17 week in week out on the park.

“It really is important to have a strong squad of 25-30 players. With the amount of injuries, it does become hard.

“We struggled when we lost not just one half-back but two in Tim Moltzen and Robert Lui earlier on the year.

“ When you lose two, not many clubs have a third half-back to come up and play first grade.

“They are sort of the issues that you have to deal with during the year because of the salary cap.

“I don’t think we have had as good of a squad as we have had in my time here.

“In 2005, we had a really strong team. We were lucky in ’05\. We played the last two or three months without any injuries.

"I think we used only 18 or 19 players in the last 12 rounds of the comp. It is pretty lucky for that to happen.”